Don’t call Taiwanese ‘occupied’

I would like to dispute a couple of points made by Dipak Basu:

First, Formosa (Taiwan) was Chinese territory prior to 1895. So, after 1949, it was reclaimed rather than occupied as he claims. I wonder what the Taiwanese (Chinese Nationalists) would make of the notion that they are “occupying” their island.

Second, I would disagree with the notion that refusal to “surrender” to China has resulted in war. The Sino-Indian conflict was essentially a result of neither country being able to agree on borders. China at no point occupied India as a country; likewise with the Sino-Soviet conflict. Both conflicts ended with cease-fires.

Third, Japan has as much to lose by antagonizing China as anyone, more perhaps. China’s huge population presents a formidable obstacle to any economic boycott being effective.

What Japan needs to do is to remove or reduce the U.S military presence, especially in Okinawa, and engage more closely with China and South Korea. A willingness to compromise over the Senkaku Islands and to openly admit to wartime misdemeanors would facilitate this. However, under soon-to-be Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s watch, I won’t hold my breath.

christopher glen

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.